The rebuilding of the temple wasn’t going well. It seemed to be taking forever and people were starting to question if it would ever be finished. Jerusalem after the exile was still in ruins. Daily living was difficult. There was a desire to see the temple rebuilt but it had now been close to twenty years and work was progressing slowly.
God spoke to the prophet Zechariah in a vision and among other encouraging words said, “Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?” (Zechariah 4:10) Don’t despise these small beginnings might be a good translation. God was assuring Zechariah and the people that he was still at work and would be faithful to complete it.
It is sometimes hard to see God at work in the small things we do. Our world emphasizes big and flashy accomplishments. Teaching a Sunday School class of four or five students might seem small, but you have no idea how God might use the lives of those children. Giving a small sum in the offering might seem like it makes no difference to the church budget, but God knows just how he is going to multiply that gift. Inviting someone to church can be a simple act of friendship but don’t underestimate the power of an invitation to change lives. From small seeds grow mighty trees.
Don’t compare your gifts and contributions to those that get all the attention. Don’t despise the little things that God is doing. His timeline is different from ours, his ways above our ways. Don’t weary in well doing or serving the Lord. One day all the world will rejoice when they see what God has done with the small things.